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Revitalisation Academy – Web Seminar Series: Energy Efficiency of Buildings, Districts, Cities and Funding Issues – Summary by Edina Project

Revitalisation Academy – Web Seminar Series: Energy Efficiency of Buildings, Districts, Cities and Funding Issues – a Summary by EDINA PROJECT.

On behalf of the Institute of Urban and Regional Development and our partners in the EDINA project: Housing Initiative for Eastern Europe (IWO e.V.) and Energy Conservation Foundation (FPE) we organized the 9 Days Web Seminar Series concerning three thematic blocs:

  1. Energy–efficient housing renovation in regeneration areas (building level),
  2. Smart cities (city-level),
  3. Climate-neutral city quarter (district level).

We organized 9 webinar sessions to which we invited 12 speakers from Poland and 10 speakers from abroad. About 415 participants in total participated in all webinar sessions:

  • officials from 53 cities/municipalities such as: Legnica, Płock, Włocławek, Sopot, Bytom, Przasnysz, Szczucin, Gnojnik, Sokołów Podlaski, Nowy Targ, Tarnów, Głogówek, Pleszew, Polkowice, Marki, Pułtusk, Bydgoszcz, Krasnobród, Hajnówka, Oświęcim, Marków Podhalański, Łódź, Olkusz, Zawiercie, Nysa, Radom, Katowice, Inowrocław, Rzeszów, Walim, Toruń, Olkusz, Pałecznica, Wrocław, Rumia, Puck, Trzyciąż, Alwernia, Poznań, Grudziądz, Leszno, Bieruń, Ostrów Mazowiecka, Piastów, Kalisz, Gdańsk, Ełk, Nysa, Bielsko-Biała, Słupsk, Żyrardów.
  • property owners, property managers, housing cooperatives, TBS rental housing association, NGOs, experts from 33 cities like Szczecin, Lublin, Opole, Puck, Tarnów, Legnica, Zielona Góra, Wałbrzych, Koszalin, Zawiercie, Ełk, Walim, Kalisz, Nowy Sącz, Nysa, Polkowice, Busko Zdrój, Połaniec, Tarnów, Poznań, Gliwice, Wrocław, Warszawa, Lubin, Kłaczyna, Tarnowskie Góry, Kraków, Łódź, Ozimek, Gdańsk, Rzeszów, Łomża, Olsztyn.

We prepared in total:

  • 3 webinar sessions in English with 9 foreign speakers. Webinar sessions were translated into Polish using simultaneous translation,
  • 6 webinars with 10 Polish speakers.

19 presentations were presented during the Revitalisation Academy.

Our guests shared their knowledge on the energy-efficient renovation of residential buildings, public buildings, and the integrated approach to the revitalisation process of neighborhoods (districts) in cities and they presented examples of smart cities. At the end of each presentation, there was time to ask questions and exchange experiences.

Topics raised by international speakers:

  1. The way to integrate energy-efficient housing renovation and urban regeneration – Prof. Christoph Wessling Technical University Berlin, Institute for Urban and Regional Planning, Insar consult (Berlin, Germany).
  2. Great examples of integration of deep renovation and urban regeneration: Trevor Graham Director at Urbanisland (Malmö, Sweden).
  3. Great examples of integration of deep renovation and urban regeneration: Eglė Randytė Managing Director at Renew the City (Vilnius, Lithuania).
  4. Climate-neutral quarters: inspirations and learnings: Laura Bornemann insar consult – spatial planning, architecture, and regional development.
  5. Serial Refurbishment – path to reach climate-neutral quarters: Peep Pihelo University of Tallinn.
  6. PRO-Heritage – „Best Practice Examples for Energy Efficient Historic Buildings”. Best Practice projects regarding Energy Efficiency and Renewables for Cultural Heritage and Renewables for Cultural Heritage: Reinhold Sahl – CEO Burghauptmannschaft, Coordinator, Pedro Vaz – Chief Architect Presidency Portugal.
  7. PRO-Heritage – „Best Practice Examples for Energy Efficient Historic Buildings”. Cultural Heritage and its climate protection function: Gerald Wagenhofer – Project manager, Managing Director UBW.
  8. PRO-Heritage – „Best Practice Examples for Energy Efficient Historic Buildings”. Energy Efficency Skills for Cultural Heritage: Karin Novotny – Communication officer PRO-Heritage.
  9. PRO-Heritage – „Best Practice Examples for Energy Efficient Historic Buildings”. Certification and Validation of traditional skills for Cultural Heritage: Graham Bell, Director of Cultura Trust, tentative.

Topics raised by Polish speakers:

  1. Deep renovation of multifamily buildings – financial and regulatory aspects; A. Rajkiewicz – Energy Conservation Foundation.
  2. The role of the property manager in the process of thermal insulation: Jacek Janas – Real Estate Federation.
  3. Energy management service in municipal buildings – concept, methods, exemplary implementation: Tomasz Kułakowski – Energy auditor, Marek Amrozy – Head of Energy Efficiency Department. National Energy Conservation Agency.
  4. Case study – IMPERIUS – cloud platform in the project Smart City – Smart management of energy and water consumption for urban facilities on the example of the SMiS project in Katowice: Michał Biniecki – Branch Manager PROMAR SP Z o.o. in Chorzów City, Daniel Wolny – Head of the Energy Management Office, Katowice City Hal.
  5. Energy-efficient and passive buildings on selected examples of local authority investments: M. Pierzchalski – National Eenergy Conservation Agency.
  6. Heat supply problems regarding buildings in cities: Jerzy Kasza – Kelvin sp. z o.o. Bielsko Biała.
  7. Cooperation between the city and a heating company on the example of VEOLIA Energia Łódź: Marcin Kwiatos – VEOLIA Energia Łódź.
  8. Sendzimir Foundation – presentation, discussion of the project “Mitigation of climate change in historic buildings”: Ewelina Pękała – Sendzimir Foundation.
  9. Renovation and thermo-modernization of historic buildings: Dr arch. Tomasz Jeleński Politechnika Krakowska (Technical University, Krakow).
  10. Alternative forms of financing photovoltaic investments in local government units: implementation of investments in the ESCO (Energy Service Company) model with the participation of private capital, practical aspects of KAPE’s pilot programme “Sun for Commune”, implemented in cooperation with local government units from 2021, possibilities to use RES under PPA (Power Purchase Agreement). Marcin Cichowicz – The Polish National Energy Conservation Agency (KAPE).

The moderators of the meetings were:

Inga Rovbutas – Project Junior Expert (Housing Initiative for Eastern Europe (IWO e.V.))
Maciej Mijakowski – Project Expert (Energy Conservation Foundation)
Katarzyna Rajkiewicz – Project Expert (Energy Conservation Foundation)
Natalia Dziarmakowska – Junior Project Expert (Institute of Urban and Regional Development)
Emilia Grotowska – Administrative Coordinator (Institute of Urban and Regional Development)

Please find all recordings here:

  • in Polish: https://edina.irmir.pl/nagrania-online-seria-12-webinariow/
  • in English: https://edina.irmir.pl/recordings-12-webinar-series/

This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

ClimArchiNet: Students designing a Brownfield Transformation in Slovakia

As part of the ClimArchiNet project, we organized a workshop for architecture students, which took place on October 27, 2021 in cooperation with the Faculty of Architecture of Slovak university of technology in Bratislava. The subject we participated in was „Design studio of Urban planning“. The student assignment was to design a transformation of a brownfield area in Žilina, a county town in northern Slovakia.

Part of the brownfield site in Žilina

The brownfield is located North of the city center, it is an area of unused railway tracks, which are in contact with the river Váh, which makes it an attractive location with great potential to connect the city center with the river. This assignment was created in cooperation with the Department of the Chief Architect of the City of Žilina, Rudolf Chodelka. The results of student work will form the basis for the elaboration of the new city zoning plan. The city of Žilina is one of the cities with the worst air quality in our country. From the perspective of application of climate solutions, Žilina is in desperate need for a new vision, because of its worsening problems with traffic and industrial pollution and also the lack of housing and other issues.

Main assignment questions were:

What is the potential of the space that will be released along the track – between the city and the water?

How can you “recycle” areas in a city?

What values ​​are important to you in creating our environment?

How would you like to live in 2050?

Where should the city of the future go?


During the workshop, expert speakers from the Climarchinet project presented experiences to students and were addressed with questions. Martin Stohl had a presentation Carbon-neutral districts and urban planning, presentation of Andrea Borská was on the Example of good practice – Seestadt Aspern in Vienna in Austria and Juraj Zamkovský was presenting a topic of Regional Energy Centers and renewable energy in Slovakia.

A few weeks after the workshop, during the design process, the experts were consulting with students, addressing their questions and concerns about the design. During the semester, students studied environmental concepts and this was evident in the designs.

Students during their final presentation

The final presentation

We had the opportunity to be at the final presentation, which took place on January 12, 2022, to see and comment on the great results of their work. The chief architect of the city of Žilina also participated, and together with lecturers we saw what a great difference it makes, when students are led to think about the climate solutions from the early stage of design. Their designs were proposing pedestrian zones, energy efficiency, green areas and roofs, renewable energy, sustainability, inclusion, community gardens, refurbishment of old buildings to housing or cultural functions etc. It is excellent that it was possible to create such a connection of practice, academy and experts from NGOs and business. We hope that these visions of sustainable urban development will be incorporated as a zoning plan and that we will eventually see these ideas as real projects. These students are the architects of the future, therefore we should listen to their concerns and understand their different views, their approach and values.

Student work: Drozd & Bertová

Students had an additional opportunity to participate in finding visions and concrete solutions. Their task was to write a short essay with illustrations on the topic “City vision 2050 – the role of architecture”. We evaluated their essays together with ClimArchiNet experts. As a reward, the authors of the three most inspirational essays will take part in an excursion of sustainable architecture in Austria. Together we will visit buildings exceptional not only in their architecture but also in technical solutions and innovation.

We would like to thank prof. Ľubica Vitková and doc. Katarína Smatanová for great cooperation on this student adventure.

Addressing Climate Change in Cities: Berlin study tour for Polish nature-based solutions and local government experts

Berlin: a frontrunner in urban nature-based solutions

Nature-based solutions (NBS) can be implemented in urban settings to deliver a suite of services to address climate change, such as reduced demand for heating and cooling, stormwater management, microclimate regulation but also support human health and recreation. Thanks to their multi-functionality and sustainability NBS are increasingly applied as measures to address climate change in cities – in Berlin, a number of innovative NBS projects have been implemented in Berlin already since the 1990s to address such challenges.

Constructed urban wetland in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin forms part of rain-, grey- and blackwater management system, combined with urban farming at pilot site RoofWaterFarm © Ewa Iwaszuk

“I was very impressed by the fact that twenty years ago, when the climate crisis was not yet a widely discussed issue, such solutions were already being proposed in Berlin” said Monika Pec-Święcicka, Deputy Director of the Wrocław Municipal Green Spaces Management Authority. “The reasons were different, and they were the same as those which made our parents save water and collect paper, bottles and metal”.

Visiting the most innovative NBS sites in Berlin

During the two-day tour, the Polish experts visited the complex application of the sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS) at Potsdamer Platz, the Roof Water Farm and Block 6, a test-site for innovative urban grey and black water management combined with urban farming, ufaFabrik a cultural centre and home to Berlin’s oldest green roofs and a solar-powered “sustainable oasis of culture”. On the second day, the Polish experts learned about thermal management and on-site water management concept at the building of the Department of Physics of Humboldt University. Finally, the participants visited Rummelsburg Bucht, an eco-district with a complex rainwater management system and an exemplary model of the “Sponge City” concept.

Mr Werner Wiartalla of ufaFabrik explained the synergies between green roofs and solar panels: the lower temperature on green roofs, compared to traditional roofs, prevent overheating and allow for more optimal energy production in the hot summer months. Solar panels, on the other hand, provide shade which helps with maintenance of vegetation on an extensive green roof.© Ewa Iwaszuk

“The trip to Berlin was extremely inspiring”, said Aleksandra Zienkiewicz, Public Relations Coordinator of the Wrocław Municipal Green Spaces Management Authority”. What impressed me the most were the really very technical projects, such as the water treatment on and in the buildings at Potsdamer Platz, where the treated water fed an artificial lake that could cool down the area in a hot summer. On the other hand, however, the simplest solutions, connected with appropriate shaping of road surfaces, adapting roadside infrastructure to accept rainwater, or directing rainwater through from a paved up square to green areas, which are an integral part of that square, seem to be the easiest to implement quickly in Wrocław. What I hope will happen and become a standard solution”.

“I think that the selection of site visits was very appropriate It has fully shown that nature-based solutions require broader and interdisciplinary thinking, but ultimately lead to savings and an increase in quality of life” added Monika Pec-Święcicka. “I was most impressed by ufaFabrik’s actions, especially the solar panels that rotate in relation to the sun, and do not require manual operation, but rather use the laws of physics”.

Exchange between Polish and German NBS experts

The Polish participants had also an opportunity to exchange with Berlin-based sustainable urban development experts: Brigitte Reichmann from the Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing, Dr. Darla Nickel, Head of the Berliner Regenwasseragentur and Dr. Carlo Becker founder of bgmr Landschaftsarchitekten. The expert discussion addressed issues such as the involvement of private investors in the planning and implementation of NBS, application of ecological building criteria or the Berlin regulations for rainwater infiltration and implementation of decentralized approaches.

Mr Marco Schmidt from the Technical University of Berlin explained the details of the natural energy- and water-saving solutions implemented at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin © Ewa Iwaszuk

“My dream for the city of Wrocław is that, in new developments, all rainwater would have to be managed on site and that buildings would drain grey and black water separately, giving great opportunities for further use of such wastewater – which we could already see in Berlin – for the benefit of people and the environment” commented Aleksandra Zienkiewicz.

The study tour was part of the “Climate NBS Poland” EUKI project. The project aims to increase the understanding, acceptance and uptake of multifunctional NBS as a cost-effective urban climate mitigation and climate protection measure. By initiating and fostering cooperation and exchange between Polish and German planning, engineering and policy experts, the project seeks to build capacity, knowledge and skills among city officials, municipal staff and landscape planners to enable the conceptual and technical design and implementation of NBS.

Aleksandra Zienkiewicz and Monika Pec-Święcicka from the Wrocław Municipal Green Spaces Management Authority agreed the study visit served as an inspiration for innovative solutions that could be implemented in Wrocław © Ewa Iwaszuk

© Ewa Iwaszuk

© Ewa Iwaszuk

© Ewa Iwaszuk

© Ewa Iwaszuk

© Ewa Iwaszuk

© Ewa Iwaszuk

Addressing climate change in cities: order your free copy of the publications

“Addressing Climate Change in Cities” publication series

On behalf of the Ecologic Institute and Sendzimir Foundation, we are pleased to announce the launch of the “Addressing Climate Change in Cities” publication series which are freely available for download or in hard copy.

The two publications – the Catalogue of urban nature-based solutions and Policy instruments to promote urban nature-based solutions – were produced within the “Climate NBS Poland” EUKI project. The project aims to increase the understanding, acceptance and uptake of multifunctional NBS as a cost-effective urban climate mitigation and climate protection measure. By initiating and fostering cooperation and exchange between Polish and German planning, engineering and policy experts, the project has successfully managed to build capacity, knowledge and skills among city officials, municipal staff and landscape planners to enable the conceptual and technical design and implementation of NBS.

Urban nature-based solutions, such as green roofs and facades can deliver energy savings through cooling and thermal regulation, contributing to efforts to mitigate climate change in cities. Photo: Ewa Iwaszuk

The books aim to support planners, designers, landscape architects as well as policymakers, city officials and engaged citizens. Together, they offer a comprehensive introduction to the world of urban nature-based solutions (NBS).

  • Illustrated with real-life application examples and detailed technical drawings, the Catalogue of urban nature-based solutions introduces multifunctional NBS that can be implemented in cities for climate mitigation and to address diverse urban challenges. The publication includes ten case studies, showing how individual NBS can be combined to address multiple urban challenges in parallel.
  • Policy instruments to promote urban nature-based solutions highlights a range of policy and supporting instruments, such as regulations, strategies and financial incentives relevant for NBS design, implementation and maintenance. Case studies from Germany and Europe illustrate how different cities approach NBS and integrate these solutions into their policy frameworks.

You can now order a free printed copy

We invite you to download a digital copy or order a free hard copy of these publications using our order form. Please note that we can only guarantee a limited amount of free deliveries inside the EU on a first come, first serve basis.